Tag Archives: employee rewards

Proving the ROI of Employee Recognition Programs

Employee Recognition Programs

Via Flickr: Cambodia4Kids.org

A major challenge of HR is sustaining effective employee engagement with things like employee recognition programs according to the Society for Human Resource Management. In the rush of everyday business operations, it can be easy to put employee recognition on the back burners and lose it in the business of doing business. Often, the key to sustainability is proving the ROI of recognition programs to gain upper management buy-in, funding and long-term commitment.

SHRM’s “Employee Recognition Programs, Winter 2012” survey showed that companies that measure the ROI of recognition efforts feel more strongly about the importance of these programs.  Use these top research findings to help frame your argument to management of the value of recognition programs.

1.  An Engaged Workforce Drives Business Results

“Recognition makes a measurable impact on important business metrics such as retention levels, productivity and overall financial results”

SHRM’s findings show that tracking the results of employee recognition is one of your strongest selling points.  Research has shown time and time again the positive business impact of an engaged workforce.  You can measure the impact of engagement through surveys, retention levels, absenteeism, productivity, safety and financial results.  If you have issues in any of these areas, argue for the need to focus additional recognition and engagement efforts.  Metrics should be tracked annually with the benefit of providing tangible data for skeptical management.

2.  The Failure of Traditional Annual Performance Reviews

“Traditional annual performance reviews fail to provide the engagement produced by structured recognition programs”

Some companies feel that an annual performance review should be sufficient to recognize employees.  However, leading HR professionals have realized annual performance reviews don’t actually create any motivation or engagement. Convince management that a better idea is to conduct an annual employee survey asking employees how they feel about their jobs, their employers and their work-life.  Over time, this can be an effective tool to showcase the importance of recognition programs to business success.

3.  Are You Staying Competitive?

“Aligning recognition with core values makes better managers too”

If current information from SHRM’s survey about the failure of annual performance reviews and the effectiveness of tracking recognition programs doesn’t convince the management at your company that recognition is worth it, have them look at other companies.  Look at your industry leaders; chances are they invest in recognition to have a winning business. Another good place to look is the recent Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.  The winners are a wealth of insights into building a great company culture and there are hundreds of examples of business building recognition programs thanks to the efforts of Great Place to Work.

Ultimately, you get what you reward.  Invest in building a culture of appreciation, respect and gratitude.  You’ll have engaged, motivated and happy employees and the business results to prove it.

To learn more about building workplace recognition, downloading our free guide to “Workplace Gratitude”.

Employee Recognition Programs

Employee Recognition Programs

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Motivating Employees – 3 Top Tips by gThankYou!

gThankYou! - Motivation SignAsk any CEO and they’ll tell you that employee motivation is a key factor when it comes to not just an individual’s performance, but also group productivity. A motivated team helps on many fronts; a more pleasant working office environment, supporting company values and increasing productivity to name just a few.

Justin Schuster, Vice President of enterprise products at MarketTools, Inc. says: “A strong correlation exists between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, a company’s revenue and profitability.”

So how do you keep your employees motivated? We’ve decided to help inspire you with the top three tips for employee motivation. And here’s a secret; employee recognition doesn’t have to cost you anything!

Tip 1: Involve Them in Your Business

Not Sure How? Here are a few examples:

  • Share Business Goals
    Make your business goals transparent and share these goals openly with your employees; that way they’ll feel like part of the bigger picture, and not just an unimportant cog in the overall works of your business.

In “Wake up and smell the coffee: how Pret A Manger motivates their team members, Richard Harpham, Head of Strategy for Pret A Manger explains:  “Every Tuesday morning sees the Head Office staff coming together for a “Team Brief”, where the Head of a particular department gives an update on their area, highlights the latest company figures, and talks about anything in “The Pret News” – most likely new shops that have opened or success stories from the week.”

This breaks down the information hierarchy common in many companies, as all staff leaves having the same understanding of everything that’s going on.

  • Involve Employees in Solving Business Issues
    Don’t just make them aware of your goals – actively involve them in solving business issues. This will be to your benefit as well as theirs, as they might be able to answer questions that you’ve been unable to solve yourself.
  • Provide Opportunities for Idea Sharing & Teaching
    Giving these responsibilities and open communication allow your employees to feel like they’re participating in improving their work and expanding their career horizons; in turn, they’ll feel better about themselves and be more motivated.
  • Make Routine Work More Interesting
    You many not be able to make everyone’s work more interesting, but you can find ways to make being at work more fun.  Crowd source the team building exercises for the next team meeting or give camera’s to employees and challenge them to take pictures of what’s “right” about work – then make a big collage of them and hang it in a public place. Get employees involved, they will be grateful.

Tip 2:  Celebrate Employees Regularly 

Dr. Bob Nelson, unofficial founder of Employee Appreciation Day, says: “There’s a big difference between getting people to come to work and getting them to do their best work. I believe employees should be appreciated on a daily basis when they perform well, so having this day in their honor is really meant to be a reminder to all managers to value their employees.”

You can do this by recognizing and rewarding good work and achievements when they happen.  Say ‘thank you’ often, and show you appreciate them face-to-face; be friendly and sincere. This will help you to build a culture of respect and employee recognition within your business environment.

At Pret A Manger, Harpham continues, “Head Office staff carry “Wow!” cards, which are handed out to any shop team member that has impressed. The top performing shops (measured against a number of factors, not all financial), are recognized monthly with a team event of their choice, and individuals that offer exceptional service can be picked out by our third-party mystery shoppers. For individuals or teams that have truly out-performed, recognition becomes a more public event, with the incumbents called to the stage at our quarterly off-sites, and congratulated before the whole company.”

And remember, it doesn’t have to take a big effort to say ‘thank you’ – it’s how you say it that counts. Natalie Grace, from Demand Media, says in “How to Celebrate Employees“: “Celebrating your employees can range from a simple thank-you card to an employee anniversary recognition event. Regardless of the extent of the celebration, as long as you deliver it in a thoughtful manner, it will positively affect your employees.”

Tip 3:  Enable Employees to Actively Participate in Recognition and Reward Schemes

gThankYou! Pret A Manger LogoMany companies recognize the power of engaging employees to nominate and reward their peers.  At Pret A Manger, “employees can nominate colleagues for our awards, and the participation is extraordinary” says Harpham.   Why not give new hires gift certificates or cash to gift back to those who helped them most to learn the ropes?

A good place to start is to provide managers with a “tool kit” of recognition items to use in the moment when the need to recognize great work arises.  It could be as simple as your own company version of “Wow” Cards and the ability to share nominal gifts for occasions of special effort.

If your team has certain goals, why not make a chart to help track these as they are gradually achieved? Have employees work out the “how” and “when” milestones and build in the recognition rewards they want along the way.

Jim Autry, author of Love and Profit reminds us, “finally, the greatest job enrichment of all is your attitude. If you pay attention, listen, be accessible, open-up, and provide your people with as many special treatments and celebrations and learning experiences as you can, you’ll be overwhelmed by the abundance of thinking all around you.”

With that in mind, why not get started motivating your employees today?

Download Your FREE Employee Gift Guide Now!

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Recognition – Creating a Comprehensive Strategy

Employee recognition is mission-critical in any organization.

gThankYou! Mission Critical StampWhy?  Today’s job market is highly mobile.  If employees don’t feel valued in their current job, they’ll find a new one where they do feel valued.

The respected Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) undertakes an annual in-depth Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report that examines employee engagement and satisfaction.

The 2012 edition of SHRM’s Survey identifies important trends that highlight the importance of employee recognition:

  • The most important aspect of job satisfaction is “opportunities to use skills/abilities”.  Among the 600 survey respondents, no aspect of their jobs has grown more in the past ten years.  It was the fifth most important aspect ten years ago; today it’s #1.
  •  “Relationship with immediate supervisor” is the second highest growth aspect of job satisfaction, and fifth overall.

SHRM offers three implications for these findings:

  • Develop existing employees.  The difficult environment for identifying and hiring key candidates, particularly for manufacturing and service jobs, means the best way to fill tomorrow’s more demanding positions is with today’s employees.
  • Communicate about the total rewards package.  Knowing about compensation and benefits options and possibilities for growth are critical for creating a growth mind-set among employees.
  • Build a bridge between employees and senior management.  According to SHRM, two of the top five contributors to employee job satisfaction were “relationship with immediate supervisor” and “communication between employees and senior management”.  “Clearly, employees value their relationship with management, and they are looking for ways to make this relationship more effective…”

So, where does that leave your organization?  We’ve talked in the past about the “Employee Recognition: The #1 Best Practice, MBWA ; (management by wandering around) is a great starting-point for all managers.

But, how do you create a culture that ensures all departments and employees receive recognition to feel valued?

gThankYou! - MIT SealOne of the most appealing, comprehensive strategies we’ve seen comes from M.I.T., the renowned university in Cambridge, MA.  MIT’s Human Resource Department has constructed an Employee Recognition Program  that includes Baseline Practices and Best Practices.

 

MIT’s “best practices” suggest each department:

  • Reinforce department and/or employee goals;
  • Provide a continuum of recognition activities from informal day-to-day to formal award events;
  • Awards criteria align with each department’s goals and values;
  • Group social events and awards are used.

The University acknowledges recognition can range from simple, everyday options (thanks, praise, respect), to the institutional (safety, providing a meaningful mission) and the formal (awards ceremonies).

As with any great University, MIT gives us the opportunity to learn.  MIT Human Resources provides a thoughtful series of outlines any organization can study, borrow and emulate.

Their advice provides a sound overall structure and suggests a broad range of considerations for your organization’s recognition program.  Here are some examples and a few of the most insightful suggestions from each:

MIT Human Resources – Designing Employee Recognition Programs

  • Maximize involvement in program design.
  • Ask employees how they want to be recognized.
  • Involve a diverse group in the design.
  • Announce the names of design team members.
  • Create a program that allows participation at all levels, including:
  • Peer-to-peer recognition;
  • Manager-to-employee recognition;
  • Employee-to-manager recognition;
  • Make “spot” award programs easy, informal and accessible.
  • Build buy-in and excitement
  • Involve senior leadership.
  • Share decision-making.

Maintaining Recognition Programs

  • Change nomination and selection committee membership each year.
  • On-the-spot recognition can take place every day, year round.
  • Be timely and spontaneous; give immediate recognition.
  • Encourage everyone to participate in on-the-spot recognition.
  • Awards ceremonies should be the high point in the year, a culmination…

Create a Continuum of Recognition 

  • “Managers and peers can provide ongoing, informal recognition on a regular basis at no cost by simply providing the type of feedback described above either in person, through email, at team meetings, or even on a sticky note…”
  • And, even MIT reminds us to use “Thank You” often.

That’s a great place to start, isn’t it?  Thanks to MIT for sharing their thinking. Where do you go for advice on developing an employee recognition program?




About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

10 Tips for Writing Employee Thank You Notes

The humble handwritten thank you note can boost your company’s bottom line, believe it or not.

gThankYou! Thank You Note

A recent Forbes article by Josh Bersin, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, illustrates the point. His article, “New Research Unlocks the Secret of Employee Recognition,” cites his company’s comprehensive research project on employee recognition showing that organizations giving regular thanks to their employees far outperform those that don’t.

Companies scoring in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.

That makes sense to Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International. In an Inc. Magazine article,  “How to Thank Your Employees in Only 8 Words,” she writes:

“When you recognize the contributions of others, you reinforce the kind of behavior you want to see again. People who feel their efforts are noticed, and their work makes a difference, are more likely to go the extra mile in the future. Leadership is about empowering others to realize their own abilities. Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations.”

Put another way, recognizing employee’s contributions shows you’re paying attention and that you care. It makes people feel valued. When you write a thoughtful note of gratitude, it’s also a permanent keepsake reminder.

Browning quotes business guru Tom Peters:
“People don’t forget kindness.”

Her research at Emergenetics suggests most employees appreciate personal thank you notes, if they’re personalized and meaningful. To be meaningful, notes should be specific and prompt. And to reward behaviors you want people to repeat, be sure to recognize efforts involving those behaviors.

Browning offers 10 tips for customizing thank you notes to celebrate employee strengths, according to brain-related research:

  1. The “gift of gab” is a work asset for gregarious people. You might write: “I celebrate how you share your enthusiasm,” or “Thanks for keeping the lines of communication open.”
  2. For quieter people you could say: “I prize your well-considered solutions,” or “I appreciate your respectful attitude toward everyone.”
  3. For assertive people, try: “Thank you for keeping the momentum going,” or “I appreciate your decisive action.”
  4.  More easygoing people who want everyone to get along might appreciate: “Thank you for helping to keep the peace,” or, “I appreciate your amiability more than you know.”
  5.  To flexible, change-seeking workers who don’t get flustered easily you might write: “I recognize your easy resilience” or “Thanks for how you handled [difficult client].”
  6. To focused staffers with strong opinions, try: “I depend on your support,” or “I honor you for your convictions.”
  7. Analytical thinkers might value: “I appreciate your penetrating questions,” or “I respect the depth of your knowledge.”
  8. For structural-minded, detail-oriented people, consider: “Thank you for transferring all that data perfectly,” or “You always meet your deadlines—impressive!”
  9. Social thinkers want to please you, so you could write: “I’m so grateful for your team building skills,” or, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
  10. Conceptual workers who want to feel unique might value: “Your solution to the XYZ problem was stunning,” or “I treasure your creative long-term views.”

Bersin’s research also showed the effectiveness of rewarding employees for:
1.  specific results and behaviors and,
2.  making thank yous public.
Consider displaying a list of employees you’ve recognized in your company newsletter, on bulletin boards, or via social media.

The best practices his research project uncovered also recommended including peer-to-peer recognition and making it easy for employees to recognize each other frequently.  For more on new “social” peer-to-peer recognition, you might enjoy Incentive Magazine’s article, “The Pressing Case for Peer-to-Peer Recognition” by Andrea Doyle.

How often and on what occasions do you write employee thank you notes? Do you ever have peers write thank you notes to peers?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Gifts for Spring Just Got Easier!

gThankYou! is excited to announce new Spring Enclosure Card designs for your Certificate of Gratitude Gifts!

"Artful Flowers" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Artful Flowers”

Whether you celebrate the spring holidays at your workplace, or just want to brighten winter-worn workplace spirits, it’s a great time of year to share your gratitude with employees and co-workers for their continued hard-work and contributions to your business.

At gThankYou!, we are committed to helping companies find easy, meaningful and affordable ways to celebrate employees and clients throughout the year.

What’s easier for you and your recipients than a gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificate or a gThankYou! Pie Gift Certificate to show your appreciation for employees’ hard work for you?  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude come in a range of popular varieties and are redeemable for any Brand, at nearly any Store in the U.S.  And, our popular Enclosure Cards  free with any purchase!

New Spring Enclosure Card Designs

Our new spring Enclosure Card designs make it easy for you to share your gratitude with recipients.  They’re customizable with your personal message and can even include your company logo – all at no charge with your purchase of any Certificate of Gratitude variety.  These new designs can be found on the gThankYou! website along with other popular Spring and Summer Enclosure Card Designs.

"Thank You Bubble" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Thank You Bubble”

"Butterfly Stamp" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Butterfly Stamp”

"Thanks Text" by gThankYou! Employee Gifts

“Thanks Text”

At gThankYou!, we work hard to make it easy for you!  We look forward to helping you with your employee gift-giving efforts.

 Happy Springtime!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Employee Gifts Beat the February Blahs

Did you know that February is National “Blah Buster Month”?gThankYou! Sad & Happy Smiley FacesWell, according to Oracle Education Foundation’s ThinkQuest it is.

For a lot of people, it’s true at home and it’s true at work. So as a businessperson, how do you help employees beat the blahs?

One great way is to create opportunities for physical activity.  Could be the flexibility for free time to allow employees to exercise, a workgroup party – bowling, laser-tag or outdoor skating, or a hands-on community service project.  Physical work is good for one’s spirit and one’s body.  Add some teamwork with it and you have a win, win for all.  That’s the key for some My Fitness Pal members.

Member “Scoobiesnax” posted “The February ‘Blahs.’ how do YOU beat them …?” saying:

“So the dreariest month of the year is upon us, and for many people (especially those who live in a colder climate as I do here in Ontario, Canada) it tends to be the hardest month to stay motivated … what [are] people … doing to stay motivated and fresh during this dull time of year?”

Fellow members answered:

  • I’ve started Vitamin D recently but not sure just how much it’s helped…
  • I take full advantage of every sunny and non-rainy day by going outside to run/walk and get fresh air.
  • I’m adding an hour to 2 hours every evening of Badminton … I love it!

Exercise is certainly healthy and uplifting, plus research shows it’s good for your your business, not just your employees.  Another great way to lift employees’ spirits is a small gift.  Indeed, at the American Express small business site Open Forum, writer and teacher Jacob Harper, formerly with Top Story Weekly, writes in “5 Easy Ways to Brighten Your Employee’s Days”:

“With all the responsibilities that come with being a boss, it can be tempting to overlook your role in maintaining your employee’s happiness. But some of the best leaders will tell you even small gestures can make a tremendous impact on company morale and, in turn, the success of the business overall. 

Give a small gift. Listen. Does an employee rave about a favorite lunchtime spot or coffee bar? Get them a gift certificate so their next few visits will be on your bill.”

What about a favorite food? Or an informal workgroup pizza lunch?  Showing your recognition and interest helps lift’s spirits; share your attention and thanks broadly so your whole organization benefits.

Whatever delights your employee, there’s likely a gThankYou! Gift Certificate of Gratitude to match.  Just add a smile, handshake, sincere thanks and watch your employee shed the blahs. Just like that.

Here’s an employer who knows how to give a gift. Watch “Kyle Goes to the World Series.”

Here’s the story: “If you’ve been to the UC Davis Coffee House at some point these past couple years, you’ve met Kyle. And I’m pretty sure he waved at you with the biggest smile, and greeted you like you were one of his closest friends. 

 With the help of his CoHo coworkers and their spontaneous donations, this goober got an extra special surprise after Game 1 … a ticket to see his favorite team play in the World Series, ticket and transportation costs covered completely.” 

You may not generate quite as much joy as University of California, Davis Coffee House, or CoHo, did with its expensive gift, but your employees will definitely appreciate an infectious smile and your appreciation. It’ll banish the blahs and make them think of you. Happy February!

How do you help your employees beat the February blahs? How do you chase away your own blahs?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Recognition Tips | Workplace Valentine’s Day Gifts

Or…Valentine’s Day—It’s not just for romance anymore.

It’s a great day to show employees, coworkers, and customers how much you appreciate them, notes Megan Smith, eHow contributor, in
Valentine Gifts for Coworkers.”

gThankYou! Candy Gift Certificate

A gThankYou! Candy Gift Certificate
is an easy way to say “thank you” anytime!

Persis Swift , in HR resource Capital Associates Industries‘ Workplace Insights blog, “9 Ways to Show Your Employees Some Love, writes:

“Demonstrating to your employees that you value and appreciate the work they put in each week will yield a positive outcome. Employees are more satisfied in their job when they know their efforts are appreciated and are making a difference for the company. High job satisfaction rates lead to more engaged workers, and more engaged workers increase business productivity.”

Cathy Warschaw of the Warschaw Learning Institute, at writers community SearchWarp.com shares a similar thought in “Valentine Ideas for the Workplace.”

“Bosses, managers, supervisors,” she writes. “Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for you to demonstrate how much you appreciate all the hard work your employees put in for the business throughout the year. Many employees love to feel valued by a boss who can express his or her thanks in many ways. Research shows that employees who feel appreciated by their boss work harder and are happier in the workplace than the employees who don’t feel valued.”

She suggests:

  • Host a Valentine Day’s luncheon—blow up balloons, pass out candy, and munch on savory and sweet goodies.
  • Distribute gift certificates or gift cards in small denominations to employees.
  • Write each staff member a thank you note telling them what they do to make the workplace special.
  • Hand out little goodie bags filled with treats to each staff person.
  • Suggest an after-work get-together at a local restaurant or pub to share food and drinks.

Swift adds:

  • If you hold a Valentine’s Day lunch, provide the main dish, but encourage your staffers to bring in Valentine’s Day themed desserts.
  • Plan a group outing for all of your employees. Whether it’s bowling or volunteering, the outing will be a good bonding experience.
  • Decorate your facility with holiday decorations, such as red and pink streamers and paper hearts.
  • Treat employees to a family-friendly get together, like a weekend pizza party or Friday evening movie.

And, concludes Warschaw:

  • Don’t forget about vendors and businesses that you work with on a regular basis—a simple thank you card should do just fine. 
  • Coworkers can also get in on the Valentine Day’s fun by letting colleagues know how much they appreciate being able to depend on each other. 

Above all, remember to show Valentine’s Day appreciation to customers, Warschaw indicates .

“[They’re] at the heart of every business—so what better time of the year to celebrate them?…Your customers will be flattered and pleased that you remembered them on such an amiable holiday.”

What are your employee recognition plans for Valentine’s Day? Download our free Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving for great ideas!

       

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Research Shows Happy Employees Are More Productive

gThankYou! Happy Worker

Employee happiness is becoming a hot topic among CEOs and in boardrooms, notes Rob Markey in a Harvard Business Review blog post, “Transform Your Employees into Passionate Advocates.”

“[It’s] one more sign of the growing recognition that happy, engaged employees are more productive and generate better outcomes for their companies,” he writes.

But, he adds, only a few of the things that make employees happy result in real, sustained benefit for their companies. As Gretchen Spreitzer and Christine Porath note in one of a series of HBR articles on employee happiness, “It’s not about contentment, which connotes a degree of complacency.”

Timely, Meaningful Recognition

Markey and his colleagues have studied the links between employee engagement and customer loyalty for a few years, and have found that the only route to employee happiness that also benefits shareholders is through a sense of fulfillment resulting from an important job done well.

It’s about recognizing employees in a timely, meaningful way. Employees should be able to connect the recognition—whether it’s a personal note, a small gift, or both—with their hard work on the company’s behalf.

The Happiness/Productivity Link

Several other organizations weigh in on workers’ mindsets. A Businessweek article by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer,  “Employee Happiness Matters More Than You Think,” says, “Ultimately … the source of productivity is the individual knowledge workers who get things done every day. And the evidence is clear: People perform better when they’re happier.”

For 10 years Amabile and Kramer researched creativity, productivity, and the psychology of everyday work life. Their findings: “Whether we looked at entrepreneurial startups or large, established enterprises, the same holds true: People are more productive and creative when they have more positive emotions.”

“In fact, we found that, if happier on a given day, people were not only more likely to come up with a new idea or solve a complex problem that same day but also to do so the next day.”

Gallup provides statistics linking employee feelings and corporate outcomes, Amabile and Kramer note. The organization reports that disengaged employees’ lost productivity costs U.S. businesses more than $300 billion a year. Another Gallup study by researcher James Harter and others concluded that employees’ past feelings about an organization can predict sales and profits at a future point in time.

U.K.-based research, too, suggests clear links between workers’ happiness and their productivity. Jamie Doward’s Observer/Guardian article, “Happy people really do work harder,” reports that a team of economists led by Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at Warwick Business School and a leading authority on the relationship between economics and mental health, says its research has important implications for the worlds of politics and business.

“We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity,” the team says. “Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings, while negative emotions have the opposite effect.”

The Warwick economists note: “Happier workers … were 12% more productive. Unhappier workers were 10% less productive.”

Employee Gratitude Done Right

If you show employees they’re valued, they’re more likely to have positive feelings about your company and their jobs. Here are three tips for effective employee recognition:

  1. Let line managers lead—Immediate supervisors are best equipped to observe when an employee thank you is warranted, or to review the results of performance metrics and recognize top performers.
  2. Keep it simple—Managers shouldn’t have to wade through complicated reports to determine who their top performers are.
  3. Customer feedback—What’s more powerful than hearing a customer’s thank you?

As Markey’s HBR article says, “When frontline employees and managers hear directly from customers — when they see how customers scored their experience, when they hear what went right and wrong in the customer’s own words — the effect is dramatic. Applause in the form of positive feedback inspires them to keep up the good work.

“Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile,” he continues. “They bring you more great employees. And that spreads even more happiness — happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.”

How do you ensure your employees receive timely, meaningful recognition?  How do you keep workers feeling fulfilled?

To learn more about employee satisfaction, engagement and the importance to your bottom-line, you’ll enjoy our FREE eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving”.



 About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

This Year, Resolve to Thank Your Employees Regularly

The holidays are over, and we’ve embarked upon 2013. You likely threw an employee party or handed out gifts to recognize your employees’ year of hard work.

So now you can relax, knowing your employees feel appreciated, right?

Wrong—at least partially.

Your workforce did and does appreciate your holiday thank-you. But employee gift-giving isn’t a one-time thing. Experts say recognizing workers regularly is an important part of improving and maintaining engagement, retention and morale.

You’re busy. All managers are. So here are some suggestions to make regular employee recognition easy:

  • Come up with a “thank you theme” for the year. Brainstorm with other managers and develop messages that reinforce the behaviors you want employees to demonstrate. Maybe it’s “ultimate customer service,” or “done-right-the-first-time order processing.”
  • Schedule regular recognition. Decide how often and on what occasions you’ll thank employees. Put reminders on your calendar so you don’t miss the dates.
  • Identify the rewards you’ll give. Whether it’s a gift certificate for pizza or ice cream, extra time off, or a free lunch, make sure managers know what employee gifts they can give, and that the gifts are easy to find and award.
  • Talk it over. Allow time for management to discuss positive employee behaviors they’ve observed so you can mention specifics in your thank-you announcements and letters.
  • Let employees reward each other, too. Set aside certain small gifts that employees can give to peers who’ve helped them meet company goals—it reinforces your culture of appreciation and giving.

And remember to make your thank-yous personal, with a smile and a handshake or a signed note. Give recognition publicly when possible, so it motivates the whole team.

To get the ball rolling this year, how about a personal New Year letter to each employee, along with a small gift, such as a gThankYou! Pizza Gift Certificate – perfect for all those football games coming up!  Letters.org offers sample employee letters for many occasions:

[Date]

Dear staff members,

As the New Year begins, I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt greetings for the season and my appreciation for your accomplishments and achievements in 2012. Last year was a great year as far as achieving our targets are concerned. I thank one and all for your support and dedication and for the extra hours you worked to achieve goals and complete our projects.

We have many more projects lined up this year and I am sure, with your dedication and determination, we will again be able to complete them on time and with top quality. I look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with you and the entire team and I know we will achieve continued success together.

My best wishes to you and your family for a very Happy New Year.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your name]

A signed letter like this, plus a small gift, given to all employees at a gathering, makes for a highly motivated start to 2013.

And to you and yours from all of us at gThankYou!, a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Appreciation Best Practices: Zoosk Throws Holiday Parties

Zoosk LogoZoosk.com works hard and plays hard – and that translates to employees feeling engaged and excited about working for the company.

gThankYou! Holiday Office Party

Thinking beyond — or in addition to — the checkbook when giving employee gifts lets staff members know they’re appreciated, writes Inc. Magazine’s Sara Hottman in “How to Choose a Holiday Gift for Your Staff.”

She quotes Paul Vagadori, senior human resources director for San Francisco-based Zoosk.com, an online dating community: “We work hard, we play hard.”  Check out the Zoosk.com blog – it looks fun to work there!

In his fast-paced company, Vagadori knows how important it is to show employees the company values and appreciates their stellar efforts. “We want to show them we’re willing to invest time and money for what they do,” he tells Hottman.

Parties help build a sense of team and boost morale, and Vagadori hosts several during the holidays:

  • A Thanksgiving potluck — the company springs for entrées and each employee brings a favorite dish.
  • A fun pub event in mid-December—everyone enjoys beer and snacks.
  • A formal gala at year-end — a professional photographer takes pictures as  employees and their dates play games and hit the gambling tables, and everyone gets a framed photo at the end.

The company gives other holiday gifts, too.

  • Extra paid time off — so employees can be with family and friends.
  • Bonuses — merit-based gifts for going above and beyond.
  • Small, useful gifts — nice travel mugs with the company logo, or gift certificates of gratitude.
  • Opportunities to give back to the community — a giving tree, where employees take tags and buy gifts for a family in need, and a food bank.

“We have a healthy competition over who can bring in the most weight in food,” Vagadori says to Hottman. “This way, individuals who work in a nice environment, and who are happy to have jobs can give back. It’s nice to be on the giving end.”

Be creative and make it personal when you give workplace gifts during the holidays and year-round. You’ll more than reap the benefits in employee retention and goodwill.

What’s your plan for holiday giving this year? SHRM’s annual survey says 72% of employers plan to host holiday parties this year – do you?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.